Once known as the ”Golden Court”, the castle and castle church at Spiez are situated on a spit of land which stretches out into the Lake of Thun. This historical complex, steeped in legends and sagas, is of major historical significance, both generally and due to its art. The church, first mentioned in 762 A.D., was rebuilt around 1000 or towards 1050 A.D. as an early Romanesque, three-naved basilica on the site of an ancient manorial settlement. Around 1200 A.D. it was decorated with monumental wall-paintings. It served as the parish church till the early 20th century.
The castle was the seat of three influential families from the 13th through to the 19th centuries, namely the Strättligens, the Bubenbergs and the von Erlachs. Its most prominent components are the Romanesque keep and the late Gothic living quarters. Some of its most exceptional features include the knights etched in as graffiti in the keep; the late Gothic decor of the living quarters, in particular the stucco plastering of the grand state room dating to 1614 with charming narrative reliefs and the corridor leading to it dating to 1627. This magnificent interior design, commissioned by Franz Ludwig von Erlach was the start of a new chapter in the castle’s architecture, ushering in the Baroque era.